Recipe For Big Fluffy Scones
If you’re British, scones don’t need any introductions. But if you’re anything like me, I had no idea what they were, how you ate them, or what they were served with. In fact, as much as Matt tried to convince me that they were very well known, there are many people in my circle of friends who first discovered this traditional British snack because of us making this recipe for big fluffy scones.
Through our afternoon teas, my lucky friends have since become addicted to light and fluffy scones. Those who already love scones, say that this is the best scone recipe they ever tried.
So what are scones?
English scones are a kind of sweet bun, somewhere between a cake and bread, usually baked with wheat flour. In addition to the baking powder, a good portion of butter is responsible for the special consistency of the buns. Scones are an essential part of afternoon tea in stereotypical British culture. Once you’ve mastered this fluffy scone recipe, all you need is some clotted cream, strawberry jam (or any jam of your choice – raspberry works well too), and a cup of tea.
A little history of big fluffy scones
Scones are as English as the Queen, because scones do not originate in England, but in Scotland.
I know. Bombshell.
According to IcyTales’ Brief History of Scones, the first mention of scones was in Scotland around 1513 in a poem. They were baked on a griddle and made from oats – don’t worry, we’re basing our easy recipe off modern scone recipes, not these oaty scones of 16th century Scotland.
In terms of the scones we all know and love, the reason they are so popular can be attributed to the Duchess of Bedford, Anne Maria Stanhope. One day in 1840, she had a brilliant idea and asked her servants to bring her scones, shortbread, and tea at 4pm. She enjoyed it so much that she repeated it with friends, and eventually afternoon tea became the main social event.
Her eating behaviour is similar to Matt’s, because, between lunch and dinner, he usually feels pretty hungry. If you’re similar, following this light fluffy scones recipe card will make you a warm batch of deliciousness to fill the gap when you’re feeling peckish.
What do you put on scones first – jam or clotted cream?
This is a big debate in the scone world. Proponents of the “jam first” method claim that the scone is still hot when it’s just taken out of the oven, so the cream will run if you spread it on the scone first.
For us, jam is pretty damn liquidy and runs anyway. Plus it’s harder to spread cream (a certified solid) on top of jam than it is to spread it on top of the base of a scone. Anyway, jam or cream first is your decision. So long as the homemade scones are tasty, who cares?
How to pronounce scones?
How do you actually pronounce the word scone? This is also not entirely clear. Be wary when bringing this up if you’re surrounded by British people. It can cause an unnecessarily heated debate.
Should it rhyme with “cone” or “gone”? The word “Scone” is said to come from the Middle Dutch “schoonbroot” which doesn’t help solve any questions.
Even The Guardian has attempted to deal with this burning issue and comes to the following conclusion: the pronunciation you use usually depends on which area of the U.K you’re from. This is clearly visible on the Great Scone Map.
Most users of this word have a very rigid opinion about the correct pronunciation and refuse to accept that both options could be correct. It’s unlikely that this debate will ever end, so be careful when inviting people over for tea!
“We should all find middle ground and start pronouncing ‘scone’ as though it rhymes with ‘one’. Just kidding. It’s definitely ‘scone’ like ‘cone’.” – Matt
Enjoy our big fluffy scones recipe😋
- Self-raising flour: 350g plus a little extra for dusting
- Baking powder: 1 tsp
- Butter: 85g
- Caster sugar: 3 tbsp
- Milk: 175ml
- Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
- Squeezed lemon: ½
- Egg: 1
- Jam and clotted cream: to serve
- Collect your ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 190 c. Lay baking paper on a baking sheet.
- In a large mixing bowl or in a food processor, mix the self-raising flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add cubed cold butter and mix everything into crumbs with a blender, fork or by hand.
- Add the caster sugar and quickly mix together.
- Heat milk in another pan until warm, then take it off the heat. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for a couple of minutes. During this time, the milk will separate, meaning our scones will be incredibly fluffy and soft.
- Pour the milk into the flour mixture.
Stir quickly until smooth. The dough should have a fluffy texture, and may still seem a little wet. This is normal, but sometimes the consistency of your scone dough can be too wet (you'll know if it's too wet), in that case just add more flour.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Do not knead for a long time – it only needs a little – then form it into a ball. Roll the dough into a thick circle with a diameter no more than about 18 cm.
With a round cookie cutter or a thin glass (I used a jam jar), cut out circles from the dough and place them on a large baking tray. Don't forget to lightly flour the cutter, otherwise the dough sticks to it.
- Collect the remaining dough, roll it out again and cut out more circles.
- Brush the surface of your unbaked scones with beaten egg yolk.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes at 190 c until golden brown. Check the readiness with a wooden toothpick. It should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve your fluffy scones with clotted cream and your favourite jam. If you want to stick with tradition, serve with cream tea. Scones are especially tasty on the day they are baked, but they can be stored for several days in an airtight container.
Tips for big fluffy scones
- Making scones is easy, nevertheless you should be gentle when handling the dough. Touch the dough as little as possible because overworking it can create harder scones.
- If you want to add dried fruit to your scones, it’s easy to do. Just add dried fruit (we like cranberries) to the dough before rolling.
- For vegans, the recipe for big fluffy scones should replace butter with margarine. For serving, you can also replace clotted cream with a vegan cream of your choice. You can also serve it with margarine and jam if you prefer.
- For a gluten-free scones recipe, use gluten-free flour.
- If you do not have self-raising flour, you can use plain flour mixed with baking powder.
- Baked scones can also be frozen, so you can enjoy them whenever you have a craving for a British scone. You can freeze scones for up to 2-3 months. Just place your big fluffy scones into a freezer bag or an airtight container after they have cooled down.
Save this scone recipe to your favourites
For more British snacks, check out our delicious flapjack recipe. Like scones, flapjacks are super easy to make – as are all the other easy recipes we’ve compiled. For more brunch-kinda ideas, you might be interested in our banana bites recipe, our authentic syrniki (Russian cheese pancakes), or the famous Greek spinach and feta pie, spanakopita. 😉